By Anees Teladia
A riveting book on the ‘underworld’ of Cape Town has been released by journalist and author, Caryn Dolley, providing unique insight into the world of local and international gangsterism, nightclub security, politics, violence and police corruption. The book is titled, The Enforcers: Inside Cape Town’s Deadly Nightclub Battles and explains how shootings and stabbings in the Cape Town club scene often link to gang activity stretching from the Western Cape to Gauteng, and even further abroad.
“For several years, I’ve been looking into gang violence in Cape Town. That led to me to looking into political happenings, political statements, political events, as well as into policing in the Western Cape,” said Dolley.
“What I initially thought I was looking into was only nightclub security, like the bouncer industry. [However] the more I investigated it, the more I realised it overlapped with policing and politics…What Cape Town’s underworld really and truly is, is a combination of those themes – greatly shaped by rogue or untoward intelligence operatives.”
Dolley further explained how the book can potentially free readers from what Immanuel Kant would refer to as “self-incurred minority” (one’s lack of ability to think, act and make judgements independently).
“It’s really about how Cape Town, this beautiful city, is actually home to several battlefields and groups fighting for various reasons – whether the groups be police, gangs or politicians – and how what’s happening here links to a much broader picture,” said Dolley.
“What we may think of as one stabbing in Long Street in the city centre, could be linked to a shooting in Manenberg, which could link to a shooting in Johannesburg, which in turn links to a shooting in Serbia. So, when standing in a club in Cape Town, you could get caught up in a shooting with links to organised crime overseas. It’s a book that looks into, and ties in, several themes.”
Dolley says that the book serves as a tool, putting what she understands about the Capetonian underworld in the public domain.
“I tried really hard to speak to fact and what has come out in court cases. I sit in court several days a week…I go to incidents and events and I tried to put it all together in a holistic manner so that you can read seamlessly and see how the dots connect,” she said.
“I’m hoping that in publishing this information, it highlights a bigger problem and puts what I know in the public domain – if something sinister were to happen to me.”
The book can be purchased from various online platforms – including Amazon – and is in most bookstores.
It is retailing for roughly R240 (depending on the store).